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How To Get Rid of Green Gunk (Verdigris) from Your Lovely Jewelry

Sophie Sylvia2023/02/03 12:56
How To Get Rid of Green Gunk (Verdigris) from Your Lovely Jewelry

Imagine storing your vintage or designer clothes just to find out some weeks later that some cockroaches have eaten the neckline, or some rats pooped on it. Happy right? That is the exact feeling of seeing your jewelry drowned in this in-explainable musty pool of bluish-green patches. What are these you may ask and how do I get rid of this displeasing look on my jewe lries? Your answers are just before your eyes.

Verdigris, better known as Green gunk, is the natural patina that forms when copper oxidizes. Don’t get confused, I’ll explain further. Apart from jewelries that are made of natural gold, silver, or precious metallic mineral extracted from the soil, which of course are expensive, jewelry companies and goldsmiths make use of copper or its alloys (bronze/brass) to produce jewelries. These copper pieces are then sprayed with gold or silver coating not just to make them look pristine and attractive to suit the buyers’ taste, but also to protect the copper from moisture. So, if by any chance a small part of the silver/gold coating chips off the metallic jewelry, the copper becomes automatically exposed to wetness that may arise from cosmetics, sweat, water, or air (remember that the air consists considerable amount of vapor): instantly reacts with oxygen in H2O and forms a bluish green substance known as Verdigris. Although it looks sometimes looks pretty, chemists discovered that verdigris is corrosive and spreads slowly like spirogyra, making your jewelry useless if left for a long time. Such a thorn in the flesh!

How To Get Rid of Verdigris

Even though I think it would be incredibly exhausting to clear green gunk off of your jewelry, follow these steps to restore the original shine:

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is not just used for culinary purposes but also to remove verdigris because it is slightly acidic. It is the ultimate alternative for glass, plastic-based and metallic jewelry.

To go about this, you will need a Q-Tip/a soft brush/ cotton wool, and a bowl filled with a substantial amount of vinegar. Soak the jewelry in the vinegar for a maximum of 30 minutes, largely distributed, then use the cotton wool/q tip to clean the green gunk on the surface. You could also use the soft brush to scrub the largely distributed verdigris area till the jewelry is spick and span. Thereafter you rinse and dry adequately.

2. Metal Polish

Apply metal polish evenly on the affected areas and wipe while exerting pressure with a napkin.

Keep in mind that metal polish is abrasive and used to clean all kinds of metal. It is readily available at retail establishments, or even better, from goldsmiths.

3. Lemon Juice Plus Baking Soda

Lemon juice, just like vinegar when added to baking soda, is the right cleaning agent for your fine accessories. Soak your art pieces in a bowl filled with lemon juice and a teaspoon of baking soda for 15-20 minutes. Clean thoroughly with cotton wool and use a toothpick or a soft brush to remove the remaining verdigris.

4. Baby shampoo

Baby shampoo could also be of help because it has no side effects on metals and is non-toxic. Assiduously apply baby shampoo to the right proportion of water and clean with a napkin to get that once-glittering jewelry back to normal.

5. Ketchup

I’m a big fan of ketchup because it not just smells nice but is also semi-liquid, unlike other forenamed cleaning mechanisms for verdigris in this article. All you need to do is dab it in affected places with a q tip, brush, rinse, and dry your ornaments.

Tip For The Day

Do not use any of these methods to clean jewelries made of pearls, rhinestones, diamonds, or any type of gemstone. Instead, take them to an expert for jewelry restoration.

How To Prevent Green Gunk from Getting on Your Adorable Pieces of Jewelry

1. Store in a cool dry place. I recommend placing silica gel in your storage area since it absorbs all possible moisture.

2. Take off your jewelry before swimming or engaging in any workout session.

3. Clean frequently because your ornaments are prone to developing green gunk even when stored properly.

4. Use a clear polish to clean jewelry whose metallic plating has chipped off.

I’m glad I could be of help. Cheers!

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